It appears that after nearly 15 years, Stockbridge Gourmet Cheesecake & Cafe in downtown Shelton may have closed its doors.

A “For Lease” sign has been placed on the inside near the Howe Avenue establishment’s entrance, and the words “Closed” appear on a hand-written sign taped to the front door. Interior shades in the cafe are all the way down, covering the windows.

The bistro’s website (sbcheesecakes.com) and Facebook page seem to have been disabled and taken down. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately this website is currently unavailable,” states a message at the website address.

Another website used by the business, perhaps more for its retail line (stockbridgescheesecakes.com), also is not active at this time.

And when calling Stockbridge’s phone number, a “we’re sorry your call cannot be completed at this time, please try again later” message answers.

‘Family-owned business’

The company — best known for its cheesecake — had expanded its operations to Woodbridge in recent years. That establishment later closed.

The owners are husband and wife Brian and Lisa Stockbridge, who have promoted the firm as “a local, family-owned business.”

“Thanks for being a part of our little corner of the world here in Shelton, where we are proud to serve you delicious desserts, treats, and home-style meals,” says the establishment’s promotional material.

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Nearby business owners react to apparent closing:

http://sheltonherald.com/57233/nearby-businesses-sad-surprised-at-apparent-stockbridge-closing/

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According to a 2008 New York Times article, Brian Stockbridge grew up in California and moved east to attend the Culinary Institute of America in suburban New York. “Everything is made from scratch, right in the back of the store,” he said of the cafe when talking to a Times reporter.

It appears the business first opened in 2000.

Named state's best cheesecake 10 times

Stockbridge was named the best cheesecake in the state by Connecticut magazine for 10 years in a row, from 2002-2012.

“How much do we love cheesecake? Dare we say it’s up there with the wife and kids?” Connecticut magazine wrote. “Bottom line is we know a good cheesecake when we taste one. And there isn’t one better than the New York-style citrus cheesecake at Stockbridge’s.”

The bakery has sold many kinds of specialty cheesecakes, such as pumpkin, raspberry swirl, Kahlua, cranberry-orange and lavender-honey. The cheesecakes have been carried by some grocery stores in the region, including Stew Leonard’s.

The Shelton location at 509-A Howe Ave. has been open Tuesday to Sunday, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. It has offered a variety of baked goods and desserts in addition to cheesecakes, such as scones, pastries, cookies, brownies, and cakes.

Stockbridge also has hosted high afternoon teas, showcasing an assortment of teas.